Hurricane Ian brought a level of damage and destruction that hadn’t been seen in Southwest Florida for decades. We’ve seen favorite places destroyed and landmarks altered. Things that were taken for granted one day, like food, water and basic services, were suddenly not available for many in our community. In the midst of all of this, we also found community, compassion and service.
Farmer Joe’s Fresh Market sustained damage in the storm that keeps it from being open to the public. But that didn’t keep us from being able to use our facilities and supply chain to offer assistance to the Cape Coral and Southwest Florida communities.
Lee Snyder Sr, owner of Farmer Joe’s said,
“Our community just went through something so tragic… we’re thankful for the opportunity to meet practical needs for so many families here in Cape Coral…”
With that in mind, Farmer Joe’s set up free food distribution events at their Pine Island Road location. We were able to partner with Feeding Florida and the Harry Chapin Food Bank to help our city get back on its feet.
Initially, 2 events were planned. After seeing cars lined up down Pine Island road, it became apparent to Snyder that more help would be needed. This led him to add more dates to the distribution plan. In the end, it looked like this:
5,500 families served
200+ pallets of food
100+ pallets of water
In addition, there were pallets of Grab-N-Go sandwiches, MREs (meals ready to eat), and care items such as sanitizer, laundry detergent and wipes. And because our pets are part of our families, there was pet food available too.
What is Next?
At this point, we do not know when the Pine Island Road store will be able to re-open to our customers. We do know that we will be back and ready to meet your shopping needs. We love our community and believe in its resiliency. As Lee Sr. said, “Cape Coral, we will come through this together… and stronger.”